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02/12/2010

Audio: Oh shoot, we just so happened to lose the caller. What are the odds?

by Jeremy Hooper

In conservative talk radio, there exists an interesting phenomenon. One could simply call it "the quick cutoff." But a more honest person could call it the "deliberate miscarriage of a revelatory call so as to mask the deliberate miscarriages of justice that the far-right perpetuates upon LGBT people (among others)."

You know what we're talking about. It happens when a particularly overheated caller starts spouting off at the mouth in a way that goes beyond the anti-equality team's decided-upon messaging, threatening to expose the truly frightening public mindsets that the "pro-family" cultivates via their nonstop anti-gay rhetoric. When the caller reaches their nadir of non-acceptance, the moderator's voice will get an easily discernible "ruh roh" quality, which will prompt him or her to jump in and abruptly stop the caller from taking the nonsense to an even more revelatory level. Usually the moderator will do so by using some sort of excuse, typically involving a time crunch or, sometimes, mysterious phone troubles that just so happened to have caused the program to drop the line. But it's always so, so easy to hear what's really going on.

This sort of thing especially happens on the lower budget programs, where call screeners are either absent or less-prepared than on the big dogs' shows. Shows like Penna Dexter's "Point of View", for instance:

(← click to play audio clip)

*Audio source: Penna Dexter's "Point of View" radio program, 2/3/10 (full podcast can be downloaded for free on iTunes)

And perhaps the most revelatory thing? The "professionals" on the show never, ever, ever step in and repudiate the caller in anyway. They just go ahead with their pre-planned script, sometimes not even referencing anything that the caller actually said (much less apologizing for the callers' rape and homicide comparisons). That's because these professional anti-gay activists refuse to take any responsibility for the even uglier rhetoric that their own carefully code-worded talking points bring about. There is no responsibility or accountability. As long as they are garnering votes and donations, then that end justifies the meanness.

It's time for these folks to own the ugly connections that their work elicits. This caller quite literally compared everyday gay people to alcoholics who commit vehicular homicide and/or rape, and wasn't ready to stop there. Penna, Matt, and their entire movement must own this reality!

***

*SEE ALSO: The time one of Matt Barber and Mat Staver's callers gave an oddly frightening "I'm from the woods" threat, which of course went unacknowledged in studio.

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